Here are a few random tidbits that all marine park fans should keep in mind concerning captivity.
You might think that this sounds like a typical, exaggerated equation that is just what some crazy activist would conjure up. But the dictionary agrees with me. ”Captive” is defined as: ”One, such as a prisoner of war, who is forcibly confined, subjugated, or enslaved.”
As an adjective “captive” is defined as:
“1.Taken and held prisoner, as in war. 2. Held in bondage; enslaved. 3. Kept under restraint or control; confined 4. Restrained by circumstances that prevent free choice…”
Websters also lists these words as synonymous with “captivity”: Confinement, imprisonment, incarceration, prison.” And these words are listed as related to “captivity”: bondage, enslavement, servitude, restraint, restriction, arrest, capture, entrapment…”
As you can tell, the very definition of captivity is imprisonment, and confinement. And that is exactly what we see in marine parks: animals that are kept confined, and caged. Seaworld even knows that the word “captivity” is generally seen as negative and instead uses words like “controlled environment.” But marine park supporters still say that they are “pro captivity,” and many of them are very proud of it. If you are pro captivity and proud in spite of the negative definitions and words associated, watch this video.
The Shows Exist for Money
I recently spent some free time reading visitor reviews of US marine parks and aquariums to see what the American consumer thought of them. Sea World tended to get pretty good reviews, and its often noted that the younger guests enjoy the soak zone. (Even in the videos, you see the kids go wild when the whales start splashing.) But at more “educational shows” like (Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, FL for example) the reviews were more negative pointing out that the place was “no Sea World” and the shows were mediocre and not entertaining enough. That really gets me thinking: what is the point of the shows? Why do these animals have to perform? Why can’t they just…not perform? Many captivity supporters will say that the shows help to mentally stimulate the animals. These same people often simultaneously argue that life in a tank is not “boring” for them. But if captivity is not boring…why do the animals need all this extra stimulation? If captivity is not understimulating, why do the animals need supplemental exercise and “enrichment” added to their lives? After all, cetaceans in the wild do not need silly circus shows to be mentally healthy, or to lead enriching lives. Also, could this same argument apply to caged animals in the circus? Are the circus shows also needed to stimulate the minds of circus animals? The best thing for the animals is a normal, natural life.
Judging by the reviews that I have read online of these marine parks, the purpose of the shows lie purely in the fact that they draw in tourists. Guests who saw shows with more educational content like the dolphin show at Clearwater Aquarium, actually complained and gave negative reviews because the shows were not up to par with Sea World’s shows in the entertainment department. Also, Sea World has cleverly paired their thrilling orca circus, and theatrical dolphin display with a theme park environment. This proves to me that education isn’t exactly a draw for tourists, and the shows are definitely there to bring in crowds and money.
The animals don’t get to leave.
It is disturbing to look at pictures of the small living quarters of these large, free ranging animals. To our human eyes the tanks seem to be large, but we also get to leave
the park when it is time to go home. When an animal is born at a marine park – they are worked until they die. They don’t get released, nor do they get retirement. Several captive animals have even put decades of work into the industry that they will never escape. These cetaceans will die in their concrete tanks, often prematurely…and what exactly have they gained from their captive lives spent putting on shows for tourists? What is in it for the animals? Anything at all? Certainly not! This leads me to believe that captivity is a selfish, human endeavor and based on exploitation of the animals.
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